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Pilgrim nuclear power plant shut down

Associated Press Modified: May 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm •  Published: May 22, 2012

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — Officials say the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth has been shut down after a malfunction in a machine that cools the steam the reactor produces and converts it into water.

Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said a condenser at the plant lost its vacuum pressure. He tells The Boston Globe ( that the condenser operates in a vacuum to maximize efficiency.

Officials said the incident happened at about 1:10 p.m. Tuesday, when the plant was operating at about 30 percent capacity.

Sheehan said the NRC hasn't identified any safety issues at the plant. He said officials are working to fix the problem.

A spokesman for Entergy, which owns the plant, said the plant will remain shut down until investigators figure out what happened.